County fair kicks off today with patriotic theme |

County fair kicks off today with patriotic theme

The theme for the 2002 Nevada County Fair, which opens today, is “Red, White & Blue!”

In the barns, youngsters are grooming their animals while dreams of blue ribbons and college tuition money dance in their minds. At last year’s fair, exhibited market animals – 306 of them – were sold for $429,340.

On Treat Street, the aromas of corn dogs and a hundred other foods fill the air. Drinks are being cooled by 40 tons of ice. Thirty non-profit food booths will fight hunger during the fair. For those so inclined, there will be three beer booths and one wine booth.

The more than 10,000 exhibits brought to the fair by more than 2,600 individuals await the fair visitors.

A maintenance crew of six is ready to work all night, every night of the fair, cleaning the grounds for the next day’s fun. Two full-time gardeners will start at midnight when the gates close and work until 8 a.m. watering flowers and cleaning up the gardens. Large sweeping machines will prowl the inner grounds at night, cleaning all major roadways.

Children will scream with mock terror as the Butler Amusements’ carnival rides lift them up and then drop the floor out from under them.

This year, two new rides arrive at the midway: Evolution and Vortex, each of which is a Butler Amusements property.

“Evolution riders sit in a tub,” Butler representative Lance Moyer said, and “the tub leans back and spins around. The whole thing spins on a big boom and turns upside down. You’re spinning in the seat and the whole thing spins upside down 60 feet in the air. The tubs and boom both spin continuously. You’re going up and coming back down as it comes around.”

The Vortex consists of four arms that lift riders and spin them around. “It’s a teenager kind of ride, for youngsters who like to go fast,” Moyer said.

The two new additions are included in the 30 rides at this year’s fair.

There’s a karaoke contest today at 7 p.m., plus agriculture demonstrations every day of the fair, culminating with a livestock auction Sunday. There will be arm wrestling and a chocoholic contest Saturday, and a passel of tribute bands.

Monster trucks and motorcycles compete for attention with clowns and magicians. Ducks and goats take over the Green, a petting zoo gets underway in the livestock area, and Wheels of Freestyle thrill onlookers in the Oak Grove area. The Village Blacksmith hammers as sparks fly from his red-hot metal.

At night, music fills the Arena as Stew Stewart opens the fair’s first evening concert with his blend of country western music, rock ‘n’ roll and blues, along with the Fabulous Drifters and a member of the original Coasters.

Thursday, Rain – a Beatles tribute band – plays.

Friday night, Quad and Cycle Racing, along with Monster Trucks, bring thrills to the Arena. In the Big Air competition, motorcycle riders shoot up an eight-foot ramp, perform stunts as they fly through the air, then land 70 feet away.

Saturday night, Tuff Trucks rumbles into the Arena, and on Sunday the Destruction Derby brings the fair’s Arena events to a crashing close.


WHAT: The 2002 Nevada County Fair

WHEN: opens today and runs through Sunday.

WHERE: Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley

ADMISSION: Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children 6 to 12, and free for children 5 and younger. Parking at Gate 4 is $3.


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